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FLEOA Opposes Forest Service/Interior LE Bill

November 5, 2015

The Honorable Cresent Hardy
430 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Hardy:

On behalf of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) – the nation’s largest professional, non-partisan, non- profit association representing 26,000 federal law enforcement officers from 65 agencies – including those in the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture, we are writing to express our opposition to H.R. 3824, the Forest Service and Department of the Interior Law Enforcement Improvement Act of
2015.

The proposed bill does not seek to improve but rather places additional onerous bureaucratic layers between federal law enforcement officers and the missions they serve. Attempting to place them under scrutiny of both local and state counterparts, as well as a civilian review board, is tantamount to eviscerating their lawful authority.

These highly trained federal law enforcement officers work in some of the most remote and dangerous areas of our nation. The 2012 murder of National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Ranger Margaret Anderson at the hands of a violent fugitive is a testament to the jeopardy they face. In these areas, federal officers often rely on both formal and informal cooperation agreements with their state and local counterparts to work jointly to enforce the law both on and off federal lands. That cooperation is where appropriate professional scrutiny occurs via building relationships and working towards the common good of enforcing the law versus the scrutiny of a seated board.

If anything, the Congress should increase funding for task force initiatives for these law enforcement officers so they can maintain the tools necessary to do their jobs and enforce both federal and state laws, so they can more effectively protect the areas they serve.

FLEOA stands against any laws that attempt to undermine the authority of Federal law enforcement in any way. FLEOA urges you to reconsider the merits of this bill and requests you instead help these trained federal law enforcement officers rather than undermine them.

FLEOA appreciates your consideration of our perspective on this legislation. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email (Dominick.Stokes@FLEOA.org) or by phone (202-293-1550) for further discussion on this issue to address questions or so we can provide feedback on how you can better support federal law enforcement.

Respectfully,
 
Dominick L. Stokes
National Vice President for Legislative Affairs



CC:  The Honorable Rob Bishop, Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources; The Honorable Raul Grijalva, Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources